When I began to coin the phrase “Motivational Magic” I defined it as any form of magic trick to present a message and one of them was in motivating people to buy a product.
Naturally every Trade Show Magician is promoting a product or a service to those who come by the both and most clients will use the magician to help draw a crowd and to catch leads to important trade show attendees. The client will often ask the magician to include a marketing/sale presentation in this magic routine but not always. I found I was able to charge more for my time at a trade once I convinced the client I was NOT only entertainment but also a marketing tool for their company. This photo of me working for a potato chip company…my job was to draw a crowd and then give away free sample bags of chips which I had magically made appear….
My good friend Gene Keeney “The Keen Genii” he worked for Kahn’s Meat Company for 25 years, retiring in 1987. He work trade shows but he also worked in groceries store all across the country. Gene was paid a salary and stock in the company….which later became a wealthy investment for him. When it comes to getting paid….always think in the long terms instead of the one performance…..focus upon building relationships instead of just booking yourself for a show.
For a couple of years I ended up working for International Foods promoting their products in several grocery stores in Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Chicago. My job was to draw attention to their products using my magic and then giving away coupons. It was a very simple job working 3-4 hours a day…sometimes two stores a day…two or three days a week. They booked the stores for me and paid me per store appearance.
So how do you get a job promoting products as a magician?
There is no “one way” of doing it…..International Food found me…other companies I approached them. Choose the kind of markets you would enjoy working in. Sometimes you will talk to the marketing departments other times you will have to talk to the owner of the company. When you call upon them…you will find they are willing to meet with you since your are a magician and they are curious to see what you have to show them. BUT I did NOT do a lot of magic but rather I spoke to them about what I had to offer them. Within a few years I was doing more and more product promotions…most of the work was a result of my talking about my successes with other companies and identifying how I could benefit them.
Remember you are a visual arts entertainer and the best way to sell yourself is in their face….not through printed or video promotional material. Do what ever it takes to meet with them, tell them the benefits of hiring you and then give them a sample of your magic.
One client came to me wanting me to help pitch their computer program to Abbott Laboratories in San Francisco…I had them help me write a 20 minute script which I had to memorize and make some customized tricks to communicate my message. They flew me there, paid all my expenses to present this pitch to four groups within the company. It was successful in selling their program. I got paid $5,000.00 and they got a 5 million dollar contract with Abbott Laboratories.